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Algeria: 34 expatriates back at attacked gas plant

October 30, 2013

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The head of Algeria’s state oil company says 34 foreigners have returned to work at the desert gas plant attacked by al-Qaida linked militants in January.

Abdelhamid Zerguine, the head of Sonatrach, told local radio Wednesday that foreign workers were gradually returning after the attack in January killed 39 expatriates following a standoff with the military. He did not specify the nationalities of those who had returned.

Foreign companies pulled out all their workers at the Ain Amenas plant, jointly operated by BP, Norway’s Statoil and Sonatrach, following the attack and pegged their return to improvements in security.

Zerguine said security for the sites would be solely in the hands of Algerian forces, implicitly denying local media reports that BP would bring in another firm.

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